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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Thriller > Virus > TV > Helix: Season 1 (2014/Sony DVDs)

Helix: Season 1 (2014/Sony DVDs)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: B+ Episodes: C

Helix is by no means a bad show but it doesn't quite hold a candle to Guillermo Del Toro's new vampire series The Strain, which is on the rival channel FX. Similar to John Carpenter's The Thing, the series follows a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who travel to a research facility in the Arctic to investigate a potential outbreak of disease. While there, they find themselves stuck in a life-or-death situation that could decide the future of mankind.

Proscribed genetic engineering research is being done, and the company running the research station seems more concerned in containing knowledge of their activities than in resolving the actual outbreak of sticky black alien substance. Surprise. Surprise.

Many desperate attempts at quarantine result in mutiny and attempted escape, and communication with the outside world is mysteriously cut off. It is unclear at first whether the goal is a bio-weapon or to transform humans in some way, and there are two variants of the virus. The first is immediately fatal with no cure. Those infected with the second virus become dangerously violent zombie-like creatures known as Vectors, that spread the infection to others, with a small percentage eventually regaining some normality if treated, as it seems several characters have already been infected and cured. Those cured seem to have the ability to control the infected. The intense show stars Billy Campbell, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kyra Zagorsky, and Mark Ghanime as Major Sergio Balleseros. The production value isn't terrible but the whole series has kind of an unoriginal tone. The special effects vary from good to bad and the cast feels very TV.

The Three Disc set contains all 13 episodes and here are available in standard definition DVD preserving the original 16 X 9 aspect ratio of 1.78:1 of the original broadcast. The picture and sound are fine for the format but doesn't compare obviously to that of the Blu-ray format. The sound is fine with a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track and subtitles are on the disc in English SDH, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Thai and French. Total running time for this set is 531 minutes.

Sony did a great job with the bonus materials here featuring Cast and Crew Commentaries On The Pilot Episode and Dans L'Ombre, Ronald D. Moore: The Outlier of Science Fiction, The Future of Disease, The Art of Isolation, Dissecting The Characters, Outtakes, and Deleted Scenes.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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